Diversity and abundance of pollinator fauna in Sunflower
Sunflower was visited by a wide range of insects during the flowering season, including bees, moths, ants, butterflies, thrips, beetles, bugs, and other insect species.A study on insect pollinators of sunflower was carried out at Hirehalli village of Tumkur district in Karnataka during 2019-20. Hymenopterans and Dipterans were the major pollinators recorded in the flowering season. The predominant pollinators observed during the study period were four honey bees species, such as Trigona sp,, A. cerana, A. florae and Apis dorsata. and two species of bumble bees viz., Xylocopa aestuans and X. latipus. The activity of all these pollinators were more between morning 09 a.m., to 12 p.m., The initial evidence of A. dorsata activity was seen between 07 and 08 a.m., gradually increasing to a peak between 9 and 10 a.m., then decreasing to a second peak between 02 and 03 pm., then gradually decreased at the end of the day. A. Cerana activity peaked between 11 a.m., to 12 noon. A. florea activity began at 09 a.m., and lasted till to 3:30 p.m., Trigona species foraging visits began at 09 a.m., and continued till 02 p.m., to 3:30 p.m., Its busiest hours are 10 a.m., to 11 a.m., When compared to other foragers, A. dorsata foraged for the longest period of time. A. cerana was only active for 8 hours. Trigona sp. for 6 hours and A. florea for 6 hours. Xylocopa sp. a non-Apis bee, foraged for 6 hours, but Dipterans and other foragers only foraged for 5 hours. In sunflowers, A.dorsata appeared to be the most prominent pollinator.